November 27, 2008

Mumbai Attacked


A devastating terrorist attack has taken place in Mumbai India (Bombay). Numerous bombs have been set off, and an amphibious assault was launched from small boats. An unknown (but large) number of terrorists ran from the waterfront and stormed several hotels and transportation nodes. Over a hundred civilians are dead. It is unclear at this time if the assault was from the Ocean, Thane Creek or both.

Image Via BBC
There are reports that the terrorists were particularly targeting citizens of the UK and USA. It is unclear how sucsessful they were in his but it is obvious that they were not too discriminating and the people of Mumbai suffered terribly tonight.

More here here here and here.

The CounterTerrorism Blog, ACE and Rusty are blogging this extensively as is Allahpundit.

Indian bloggers liveblogging this include, The Khalma Bhat Show, Retributions, Youth Curry, and UltraBrown, whose last post, as I type this, was from the thick of things.

Hemant Kakare, the head of India's Counterterrorism Task force has been killed in the line of duty as has Mumbai's near legendary cop, Vijay Salaskar.

One odd bit. At least some of the terrorists were armed with Sten Guns


Though this bastard is armed with some AK variant.

The terrorists attacked the train station as well and left this in their wake...


A few thoughts.

No atom bomb, nerve gas or large airplanes appear to have been used, yet this was a devastating attack carried out by the straightforward technique of approaching the cities waterfront, getting out of the boats, running ashore and proceeding to kill people and break things.

There do seem to have been some pre-planted bombs and this required a lot of planning, but this could, in theory, wreak havoc in an American coastal city.

The US Coast Guard needs to ensure that its port state control, pollution and facilities personnel are up to date on their weapons qualifications. These personnel are the first line of defense or at least raising the alarm against an attack of this nature. Those of us on shore side, even reservists, need to be very, very aware of that.

An attack like this on any number of coastal locations on the US and its territories would likely be a suicide mission for all involved, but it would be a devastating morale hit for the nation and in certain locations could cause serious infrastructure damage. The Gulf Coast ports are much closer to  largely deserted stretches of South America, or actively hostile Venezuela than Mumbai is to Arabia or even Pakistan.

India is at war, but we are too. If as seems likely this is the work of AlQuaeda or an ideologically related group, then this is an attack on an ally by our common enemy.

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